WASHINGTON, D.C. – After Mother Nature made the teams wait three days for the NJCAA Region XX Division III Championship Game, sophomore Clark Reese (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) didn't want his Prince George Community College career to end. Reese tied the game with a two-run, two out single in the ninth and then after Pedro Montero (LaRomana, Dominican Republic/Colegio Nueva) plated the winning run in the 13th, Reese made sure that top seed CCAC Boyce could not comeback by adding a two-run triple to hand the Owls its third-straight region crown with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday. The game was played at Gallaudet University thanks to the continuous rain of the last couple of days.
Reese finished the game with two hits and four RBIs while allowing two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work. The sophomore also tossed a three-hit five-inning shutout with 11 strikeouts in a five-inning 10-0 win against CCAC South to open the tournament. He also had five hits, six RBIs and two runs scored in the four games.
Trailing 2-0 in the ninth, Trey Newland (Lake Worth, Fla./Somerset Academy Canyons) doubled with one out and Jacob Willis (Prince Frederick, Md./Calvert) walked. Montero then singled, but Wills was thrown out on the play to put CCAC Boyce one out from ending the Owls region run. After Montero walked, Reese singled to bring Newland and Montero home to send the game into free baseball time.
Prince George's got a runner to third with two outs in the 10th, to second in the 11th and had a runner thrown out at the plate in the 12th. CCAC Boyce got a runner to second in the 10th with two outs and in the 11th with two outs, but the Owls got out of the jam to set up top of the 13th.
With one out, Justin Johnson (Bowie, Md./Bowie) singled and Willis was hit with the pitch with two outs to bring the middle of the lineup up for Prince George's. Montero singled to bring home Johnson home with the decisive run before Reese tripled to clear the bases to extend the advantage to 5-2.
CCAC Boyce had a single with one out, but Blake Gatewood (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac) induced a flyout and then brought the championship crown home by striking out the batter looking to end the game.
Montero went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI in the championship game and 10-for-19 with six RBIs and seven runs scored in the four games. Newland added a 3-for-6 performance with a run scored in the title bout and went 11-for-17 with seven runs scored and two RBIs in the tournament.
Aderlyn Cubilete (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast) added a 4-for-6 game in the championship game and had six hits and four runs scored in the region tournament.
CCAC Boyce scored a run in the second and sixth to take a 2-0 edge and were one out away from the title before Reese answered with a two-run single in the ninth to send the game to extra innings where Montero and Reese handed the squad its third-straight region title and to the district championships.
Aaron Cooper (Oakland, Fla./Northeast) pitched eight strong innings with two runs on five hits with six strikeouts to open the tournament with a 15-2 win against CCAC Boyce. The game was halted on May 10 in the sixth inning due to the rain with the Owls leading 4-2 and then Prince George's posted an 11-run inning in the eighth to earn the victory. That game put the Owls in the championship game where CCAC Boyce earned an 8-5 win to send the tournament to another game and three days of waiting.
Prince George's now will host the NJCAA Division III District D Championships against Rockingham Community College on Friday with games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the NJCAA Division III World Series.
Last year, the Owls won the opening game against Rockingham and then fell 6-2 and 17-15 to end their season. The squad had a 15-6 lead after four and a half innings in the final game.
Two years ago, Prince George's hosted the NJCAA District D Championships against Surry Community College and won the series with a 12-9 win in game one and an 11-9 victory in game three.
Prince George's looks to head back to the NJCAA Division III World Series for third time under head coach Buddy Foster in the last seven years and the first time since 2017.